Jack Dorsey wants Web5. We’ll get Web10 instead!
Wait, what happened to Web4? (For that matter, what happened to Web3?)
Yeah, I said it. Web10. That’s where we’re really headed.
“But wait,” you say: “WTF are you talking about, Mike?”
OK, let’s back up.
Just when you thought the whole Web3 thing couldn’t get any more annoying, Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey announces Web5.
And you’re going to love how he arrived at that label: He wants a combination of Web2 and Web3. Get it? 2+3=5.
That’s like Microsoft promoting the next Windows by saying it combines the best features of Windows 8 and Windows 10: Ladies and gentlemen, Windows 18!
Substantively, Dorsey is attempting an alternative to the Web3 crowd, correctly pointing out that VC investment in Web3 makes the goals of Web3 (no controlling corporations, no gate-keepers) essentially impossible. “It will never escape their incentives,” he said, famously.
Web5 is a “Decentralized Web Platform (DWP) enables developers to write Decentralized Web Apps (DWAs) using Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) and Decentralized Web Nodes (DWNs), returning ownership and control over identity and data to individuals,” Dorsey said in a cyberpunk-style Google Doc hosted on a platform owned and controlled by a giant corporation.
The way to look at Web5 is that it’s Web3 without the VC-backed startups.
Dorsey is effecting this initiative through a company called TBD, which is a subsidiary of Block.
The goals of Web3 and Web5 are laudable, of course. They want to take control of personal identify away from corporations and place that control in the hands of individuals.
The essential and philosophical problem I have with Web3 and Web5 is that the uber-goal of taking control of identify, money and content from corporations and governments and placing it in the hands of individuals is that these are the very goals Web1 (for lack of a better term) was based on.
The actual internet and the actual web were based on these very objectives. Internet visionaries were able to create the protocols and standards of the internet and web because there was no money and no political control possible on the web back then.
Today, just as Web3 will never escape the incentives of the VCs that want to own it, the web will never escape the incentives of the corporations and governments that currently do, in fact, own and control it. Plus, the public is apathetic to their aims.
And while Web3 and Web5 enthusiasts will create applications, services and systems that will live on the internet, they’ll never dislodge the powers that currently be.
We have decentralized social networks today, for example, and hardly anybody cares. We have cryptocurrencies, and hardly anybody uses them as currencies — only as get-rich-quick pyramid schemes.
What we’ll really end up with is Web10.
1. Tokyo scientists make a robot with human skin. Why Japan? Why?
Mad robot scientists at the University of Tokyo created a robot finger and covered it with living human “skin,” created from human cells. They falsely believe living human flesh will put people at ease when they touch a robot.
The researchers made the skin by bathing plastic robot finger in a “soup” of collagen and human skin cells for three days, causing the cells to form a lower level of skin. Then they a different kind of human skin cell, called keratinocytes, onto the finger to make the epidermis.
Yada yada yada and Arnold Schwarzenegger robots are coming from the future to kill us all.
2. The fashion industry tries to make pandemic slobwear fashionable
The remote-work revolution also ushered in the dress-like-a-slacker-while-working revolution. Now, the fashion industry is trying to legitimize the trend as legit fashion. (Let’s be honest: What they’re really legitimizing is a $300 price for pajamas…)
The idea is to somehow find that place between a business suit and sweats and a T-shirt.
They’ve come up with new buzzy labels, too: "power casual," "business comfort" and "workleisure” — though I’m sticking with “pandemic slobwear.”
Mike’s List of Shameless Self Promotions
What’s so great about Google’s ‘translation glasses’?
Malicious reconnaissance: What is it and how to stop it